I’m going to start by stating the obvious: the music landscape has changed. A lot!

With the rise of technology it’s much easier for independent artists to start making and putting out music. Here’s the reality, it’s only going to get easier.

That means that the amount of competition is always going to be increasing. As independent artists, we have to do anything and everything we can to get ahead of the competition. One of the best ways to do that is to produce your own music completely.

For the purpose of this article, let’s define producing your own music as making the beat, writing the lyrics, mixing, and mastering.

Yeah all of it.



The most modern example of an artist like this is Russ. He started out teaching himself how to make music, put out 11 albums, then a single per week for 3 years, and now has a publishing partnership with Columbia. He has a bunch of other accolades, but I won’t go into it.

The point is, his success is attributed to his vast skill set. He’s not just a rapper. He’s not just making beats. He does it all! There are also other great examples such as Kanye West, J. Cole, and Big K.R.I.T.

Let’s take a look at the below checklist for how independent artists can produce your own music.

Computer

This is obvious. If you’re trying to be an artist and you don’t have a computer, this is priority #1. You can’t depend on borrowing your homies computer forever. Stop making excuses. Go save your money and get one.

Headphones and/or speakers

The best place to get a bang for your buck on this type of equipment is Amazon.com. Do your research on the best studio headphones and speakers. Work it into your budget. Here are a couple of good recommendations available on Amazon:

DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

This is the software you’re going to need to get going. There are a lot of different choices out there, so whichever one you choose is fine.

  • Logic Pro X (Apple $200)
  • Ableton
  • Pro Tools (there is also a free version of Pro Tools called Pro Tools First)
  • Cubase
  • FL Studio (PC)

There are other DAWs out there, but these are just a couple of the major ones.

Midi keyboard

  • This is what you’re going to need to play sounds. It’s essentially the brush to your canvas. Below are a couple of recommendations:
  • Vangoa Worlde Portable 25 Keys USB Keyboard MIDI Controller with Drum Pad
  • Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII 25-Key USB MIDI Controller

Again, there are a ton of other options out there. Pick the one that works best with your budget.

Great resources

  • There is a producer named “CJ Beatz” who has a lot of videos where he teaches you how to make beats. I would highly recommend subscribing to his YouTube channel and watch his videos.
  • There is a sound engineer named “Gragam Cochran” and his youtube channel “Recording Revolution” is fantastic. He shows you how cheap and simple being a producer can be. Go subscribe to him ASAP!

A really great part about the game right now is how much FREE content there is to learn from.

There are no more excuses. The only thing holding you back is yourself. Stop thinking and get going. Time is ticking, and the game isn’t waiting for you.

This article was written by Bay Area independent artist Leezythegifted. To check out his merchandise shop, click here.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.